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Sharing Meals at Restaurants?

by Mical007 Online Now Feb 1, 2013 at 8:01 AM

My husband and I will be in Iceland for a week on business. We will be the guests of our business associate, who is a local there. When dining out here in the States, we'll often split a meal. Most restaurants will divide and plate it separately for us (although we don't ask for that service), and then we always tip enough for two meals. Would this be considered rude or strange in Iceland? My thought is to be more economical for our host. Or should we just plan on sticking to the lesser priced meals and each ordering our own? Any thoughts from locals? Also, I read that there is no tipping the wait staff there...is this correct? Here in the States, we'd usually offer to leave the tip for our host. Is there any custom there in Iceland for return-treating the person picking up the tab? (besides buying them a meal or two during the trip, of course) Thanks for any help and advise on being gracious guests!!!

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3 Answers
  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Re: Sharing Meals at Restaurants?

    by Regina1965 Online Now Feb 1, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    It is true that you don´t leave a tip at Icelandic restaurants - although given the crisis that we are going through, I don´t think the waiters would mind getting a tip.
    It is not customary here to split a meal - the portions here are smaller than those I have seen in the States ;) But it won´t hurt asking at the restaurant if they are willing to do this. Or just stick to the lesser priced meals, so that your host will not feel embarrassed, seeing that he is a local. Seeing that this is a business meal then you don´t have to return-treat the person picking up the tab.
    I have a lot of tips on Icelandic customs on my Reykjavík and Iceland pages.

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  • Re: Sharing Meals at Restaurants?

    by Mical007 Online Now Feb 2, 2013 at 6:23 AM

    Very helpful, thank you!

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  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    Re: Sharing Meals at Restaurants?

    by smirnofforiginal Online Now Feb 2, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    As Regina says, the portions are smaller in Iceland.
    It is, however, not customary in Europe to split meals unless it is something like tapas - lots of small dishes that everybody shares. For a business meal, I would suggest you are better to order a meal each :-)

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